Are you one of those people who like Greek legends? We bring you some Creatures of Greek Mythology known for their strange characteristics.
These mythical monsters are some of the strangest and most terrifying creations in history, from glorified animals to mythical humanoid creatures. Are you ready to take a look at these 23 most legendary creatures of Greek mythology?
23 Creatures of Greek Mythology
There are different mythical creatures that are mentioned in the myths of Ancient Greece. Each with its own purpose within these Greek myths and stories. They are presented with their attributes that are supernatural, abilities and powers. Mostly, these mythical creatures are interrelated with the gods and were often sent by the Gods of Olympus to perform various tasks, as well as to protect someone or something, or perhaps the opposite, to terrorize..
Usually depicted as a serpent, Python presided over the Delphic oracle. Unfortunately, the Olympian deity Apollo ended up killing him out of revenge and taking the oracle for himself.
2. Orthos (Ortho)
Orthos was a two-headed dog in charge of guarding a huge herd of red cattle, he was killed by Herakles, who kept all the cattle as proof of his victory. Some accounts also claim that Orthrus was also the father of several other monsters, including the Sphinx and the Chimera.
3. Scylla or Escila
Scylla was a monster that lived on one side of a narrow water channel, opposite its counterpart Charybdis. The two sides of the strait were within an arrow’s reach, so close that sailors trying to avoid Charybdis passed too close to Scylla with disastrous results.
Considered the personification of volcanic forces, Typhon was also considered the deadliest monster in Greek mythology. His human upper half supposedly reached as high as the stars, and his hands reached east and west. Instead of a human head, a hundred dragon heads protruded from his neck and shoulders.
Ophiotaurus was a creature that was part bull and part snake. Its entrails were said to give the power to defeat the gods to whoever burned them. Because of this, a supporter of the Titans killed the beast, but Zeus sent an Eagle to fetch the entrails before they were sacrificed and Olympus was ruined.
Lamia was said to be a beautiful queen of Libya who became a child-eating demon. In the myth, she is a lover of the god Zeus, which causes Zeus’ jealous wife Hera to kill all of Lamia’s children (except Scylla, who is herself cursed) and transforms her into a monster who hunts and devours the children of others.
The Greas were three sisters who shared an eye and a tooth between them. No wonder they were not known for their beauty. To top it off, their charming names were Deino (death), Enyo (horror) and Pemphredo (alarm).
Half-woman half-serpent, Echidna, known as the “Mother of all monsters,” as many of the monsters of Greek mythology were considered her offspring. She is also known for her romantic relationship with Typhon. It is said that she could produce a poison that would cause madness.
9. Nemean Lion
The Nemean lion was a vicious monster from Greek mythology who lived in Nemea. He was eventually killed by Heracles. He could not be killed with deadly weapons because his golden skin was impervious to attack, so Heracles ended up strangling him with his bare hands. The only way Heracles was able to skin the beast was by using his own claws.
With the paws of a lion, the wings of a large bird and the head of a woman, the Greek version of this creature called the Sphinx is considered treacherous and ruthless. Those who could not answer its riddle suffered a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they were killed and devoured by this ravenous monster.
Literally translated from Greek to “avengers”, the Erinyes were known as the female deities of vengeance. They were known to punish anyone who had sworn a false oath, committed an evil act or said anything against one of the gods.
Daughter of Poseidon and Gaia, Charybdis was a huge bladder of a creature, whose face was all mouth and arms and legs were fins. She swallowed large quantities of water three times a day before burping it up again, creating great whirlpools capable of sinking large ships. It is often depicted on the opposite side of the narrow Scylla channel.
Harpies were creatures with the body of a bird and the face of a woman, stealing food from victims and carrying evildoers to the Erinnyes. Their name literally means, “that which snatches.” Zeus often used them as a means of punishment or torture.
Satyrs are often depicted as having goat-like features, such as hindquarters and horns, they are often depicted playing the flute, holding wine goblets and serving the god Dionysus. They embody the essence of having a carefree life while making music and drinking all they want.
In Greek mythology, mermaids (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were dangerous creatures, luring nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky shore of their island.
Roman poets placed them on small islands called Sirenum scopuli. In some later rationalized traditions, the literal geography of the “flowery” island of Anthemoessa, or Anthemusa, is fixed: sometimes at Cape Pelorum and sometimes on islands known as Sirenuse, near Paestum, or at Capreae. All these places were surrounded by cliffs and rocks.
Greek mythology included the stories of gods, warriors and mythical creatures. The tales guided and inspired the Greek people, and the figures acquired symbolic meaning through media and time. But the myths about Griffins were brought to Greece by traders returning from the Silk Road from Asia.
Gryphons were creatures depicted with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. They were often shown with wings, but not always, and had pointed ears and front claws. They were believed to be greedy creatures, hoarding and guarding gold as dragons did. By combining the eagle and the lion, the two animals that the ancient Greeks saw as the kings of their kingdoms, the griffin assumed the power and majesty of their halves.
The Chimera was a monstrous female creature from Lycia in Asia Minor that breathed fire and was composed of the parts of three animals: a lion, a serpent and a goat. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe concepts perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
The Cyclops, Member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of the forehead, these creatures were said to be quite anarchic and did not fear the gods, but were the workmen of Hephaestus, the god of smiths and fire.
The Hydra was an ancient water beast in the form of a serpent with reptilian features that possessed many heads, and for each severed head, two more grew. It also had poisonous breath and blood so toxic that even its tracks were deadly.
Perhaps the most popular Gorgon in Greek mythology is Medusa, the only mortal among three sisters who had snakes for hair and whose gaze turned anyone to stone. She was beheaded by Perseus, who was armed with a mirror and a scythe.
The Minotaur was a mythical humanoid creature with the head of a bull in the body of a man. He lived in the center of the Cretan labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus. The bull man was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.
The centaur was a mythical creature with humanoid characteristics, possessing a head, arms and torso like that of a human; and in the body, its legs were like those of a horse. Perhaps one of the most popular centaurs in Greek mythology is Chiron. While most centaurs are depicted as rambunctious followers of Dionysus, Chiron was known for his wisdom and for teaching Greek heroes such as Herakles and Achilles.
Pegasus is one of the best-known creatures of Greek mythology, a winged divine stallion who is usually depicted as pure white. He is the offspring of Poseidon and the blood of Medusa and legend has it that every time his hoof struck the earth, a fountain of water gushed forth.